7 Can’t-Miss Carrot Cake-Inspired Recipes Perfect for Springtime
It’s officially carrot season!
A few years ago, Food Network Magazine asked our test kitchen chefs to create the “perfect” carrot cake recipe. The task sounded pretty easy on paper, but believe it or not, it was anything but. Should the cake include raisins? What about crushed pineapple? Chopped nuts? Shredded coconut? Ultimately, our recipe developers settled on this incredibly delicious version. It now has several glowing 5-star reviews, so they definitely did something right! This entire experience clearly shows that when it comes to carrot cake, there’s no wrong way to make it. Whether you prefer a slightly more traditional recipe — like our chefs did — or an out-of-the-box twist, there’s no shortage of creative ways to satisfy your craving for the beloved treat this springtime. Below, you’ll find a yummy array of carrot cake — and hybrid carrot cake — recipes that absolutely every bunny can agree on this Easter Sunday and beyond.
Maple Walnut Carrot Cake (pictured above)
This might look like a traditional carrot cake on the outside, but inside, it holds a delicious, unexpected secret. The batter is made with both maple flour and maple sugar to give this layered dessert a unique, buttery flavor that pairs perfectly with sweet grated carrots. The frosting also contains an ample amount of maple syrup, so you could probably justify having it for breakfast! Just saying …
This pastel hue of this one-of-a-kind carrot cake makes it the ideal dessert to have on your springtime table. To give it the same light airiness of a classic tres leches cake, you’ll soak the baked cake with a creamy mixture consisting of sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk, heavy cream and carrot juice. Yes, carrot juice!
Want to make plain carrot cake even better?! Swirl in luscious ribbons of cheesecake-flavored filling throughout the dessert’s center just like our test kitchen chefs did in this heavenly loaf cake recipe! Apart from the melt-in-your-mouth filling, the cake also features crunchy chopped pecans, juicy crushed pineapple and spicy ground cinnamon to give you a range of flavors and textures in every bite. This fun dessert is also super easy to pack up and gift, if you just so happen to be spending Easter dinner at your grandma’s house.
Having the best of both worlds is certainly possible (during dessert anyway) thanks to these adorable bird’s nest cookies from Food Network Magazine. Modeled after a traditional thumbprint cookie, these delectable rounds consist of a batter made from all your favorite carrot cake ingredients — ground cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and grated carrots — plus some new add-ins like toasted walnuts and shredded coconut. To make them even better, each cookie is topped with a dollop of velvety cream cheese filling. Nestle them inside a basket to give kiddos an edible surprise they can indulge in first thing on Easter Sunday morning.
Granola often gets a bad rap for being bland, but that’s hardly the case with this innovative recipe. It’s packed full of flavorful mix-ins like yogurt-covered raisins, dried pineapple and chopped walnuts. Whether you have it for breakfast, as an afternoon snack or for dessert, something tells us it’ll become your go-to way to eat rolled oats in the future.
"This is the next best thing to baking a whole carrot cake!!" That’s what one of our fans had to say about these whoopie pie-inspired carrot cake sandwich cookies. We’re big fans of the marshmallow-cream cheese filling, which we’re fairly certain will be enough to turn even the greatest skeptics into total carrot cake fans.
Carrot juice curd might sound like a terrible idea when it is said aloud for the first time, but trust us, when it’s paired with a buttery spiced shortbread cookie crust and a smooth no-bake cheesecake topping like it is in this recipe, you’ll see that it’s pretty genius! And tasty too.